The Libya dossier has now risen to the top of the priority list of the administration of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, following an increase in the number of kidnappings and the killing of Egyptians at the hands of armed militias affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) in Libya. The latest such incident resulted in the slaughter of 21 Egyptian Copts on the Tripoli coast, leading to intervention and mediation by Cairo to bolster the Libyan army’s capabilities in confronting the militias.

During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Cairo Feb. 9, the Libyan army’s chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Abdulrazek Al Nadoori, also arrived in the Egyptian capital in an unannounced visit, in which he met with Russian officials to sign agreements for the supply of Russian weapons to the Libyan army.

Col. Ahmed al-Mismari, the spokesman for the Libyan chief of staff, told Al-Monitor, “Arming the Libyan army was a point of discussion between the Egyptian and Russian presidents in Cairo.” […]